Michael Harvey, 28
Hometown: Appleton, Wis.
Current City: Neenah, Wis.
Started at UW Oshkosh: Fall 2010
Current Position: Autogrinder operator at Neenah Foundry
Michael Harvey is no stranger to change. He spent two years at UW-Fox Valley before leaving school and heading to Phoenix, Arizona for two years and then heading to San Antonio, Texas, where he was a medic in the National Guard. Now, Harvey is back in Wisconsin and attending school at UW Oshkosh. His major changed throughout the years from history to nursing to social work and finally to human services.
“My life and schooling has been a nonstop journey, and I think that’s for everybody,” Harvey said. “You just never really know until something clicks. Once you find that niche and know what works for you and drives you, everything will be clearer.”
After spending years working in different jobs, Harvey said he realized the only way to get anywhere in his career would be through education, and he said it was easier to go back to school after being in the workforce because he knows exactly what he wants to do in his life.
“I was not a good student the first time around. I don’t know if it’s age or clarity with what I want to do, but I don’t mind putting my name on my work anymore,” Harvey said. “It’s also been a very easy transition to online classes. The tools and tutorials available are more than adequate to help someone who doesn’t understand a lot about computers.”
Harvey has always been advocating and helping others, but what he did never had a name. When he worked in Phoenix, Arizona as a personal caregiver, he said he knew that was where he fit.
“I was working with people, but only on a personal care level — I couldn’t actually be an advocate for them,” Harvey said. “Then my adviser showed me information on Human Services Online and it was exactly what I wanted.
Harvey wants to help people target the root of their issues, and he said he knows his degree will help him help others.
“My experiences combined with what I am learning will help me understand not just what someone did, but the reasons behind it and I can use what I am learning to help them overcome barriers and obstacles,” Harvey said.
With the knowledge he is gaining from his online classes and his outspoken personality, Harvey said he is ready to be an advocate for others and help address the root of the problems and issues people experience.
“I am graduating in May 2013, and I am very excited,” Harvey said. “I have no doubt that I will be able to get a job.”